No right to toilet for suspects on remand at Malawi courts

The Magistrate and the High Courts in Lilongwe, institutions that are regarded as pillars of safeguarding human rights, seem themselves not to be sensitive to such rights as remanded suspects brought to the courts for trials are denied access to the toilet.

Suspects being taken for trial at the Lilongwe courts

Suspects being taken for trial at the Lilongwe courts

Suspects waiting for trial at the Lilongwe courts speaking about the toilet problem. - photo by LINA

Suspects waiting for trial at the Lilongwe courts speaking about the toilet problem. – photo by LINA

The closed toied at the Lilongwe Magistarte Court

The closed toied at the Lilongwe Magistarte Court

Police Senior Supt. Damiano Kapita, who is station prosecution officer for Lilongwe District and was at the court Monday told Lilongwe News Agency that the situation is pathetic.

“We don’t know what to do with suspects in our care when need arises for them to visit toilet. There is no toilet where we can take them to here, as a result we collect all of them, take them behind the courts in the maize garden and tell them to help themselves, but those who want to defecate are told to dig a hole and bury it after use,” revealed Kapita.

Kapita said he took advantage to table the issue last year when Health officials from Kamuzu Central Hospital came to brief them on Ebola issues, and he recently brought it up again on court users meeting for Lilongwe District but nothing has been done yet.

One of the suspects waiting for trial at the court said they are facing a difficult situation. He narrated an ordeal he witnessed when one of their friends soiled himself while waiting for trial in the waiting shed at the courts.

“It was a bad sight, we tried to clean him but it was not possible as a result he failed to enter the courtroom for trial,” he said.

Kapita said in the past there was a toilet in the magistrate chambers where all suspects would visit when pressed but it has since been closed and seems it is being used as a storage facility possibly for closed files.

“As we are talking now, the toilet room looks like it has been turned into something like storage where old court files and other things are kept and it does not work as a toilet anymore,” Kapita confided.

Deputy Registrar of the Lilongwe Courts referred the matter to the judiciary Public Relations Officer, Mlenga Mvula who failed to respond to a questionnaire despite several days of waiting.

The High Court Registrar, Justus Kashindo, was reported to be out of office and no one was willing to speak to the reporter.

In another development at the same Courts, the Lilongwe Chief Magistrate Court has been without water for several months now after being disconnected due to unpaid bills rumoured to amount to K3 million.

This has brought a lot of inconvenience to officers as well as court users such as police and suspects. They cannot access drinking water when thirsty, the officers and police cannot use toilets.

The reason for non-payment of the water bills was not established as there was no one to provide information but it is said that the pipe supplying water to the court got broken and a lot of water was lost. Rumours have it that this is where the court accrued huge bills, but discussions were said to be underway with Lilongwe Water Board to connect them because it was not their fault. –

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34 thoughts on “No right to toilet for suspects on remand at Malawi courts”

  1. Tili kwa eni says:

    Kodi ma k5000 omwe mukumawalipilitsa anthu osalakwa mukumawagwila vakabu aja simungamangile zimbuzizo?

  2. wonderful says:


  3. In this situation improvised mobile toilets are needed

  4. NYAOPE says:

    Tilibe atsogoleri a maso mphenya, inu simungadabwe nyumba zomwe zikugwilitsidwa ntchito ngati ma khotizo, ndi zomwe zija anamanga atsamunda . Chichokeleni Roy Welensky mpaka pano tikukamba nkhani za matoiletzi, palibe amene akuganizapo zomanga nyumba zamakono za ma khothi akunenedwa apawa. Taliwonani khoma limeneli m,mene likuonekera, mulibe ndi manyazi omwe kumalitchula High court khoma limeneli? Leaders Wihout Foresight.

  5. Vyachalo says:

    Shame to malawi government. Human Rights where are they? Even main bus stages.Go to Ekwendeni bus stage,no toilets. In mzuzu city bus depot,no public toilets. Not every body can manage to go for paying toilets.

  6. Seodi says:

    Malawi should be reclassified as a primitive state. It doesnot make sense for it to have the same status of third world and be grouped as countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania. With that stupidity!

  7. YOLANDA says:


  8. thats one reason why malawi is not developing we have educated people with good papers but their brains cant prove the existence of education in them.if at court people are being victimised then where will they find justices?

  9. Jimbo says:

    Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi and its courthouse has no toilets! This is the 21st century and 50 years after independence; what is happening to Malawi? We read recently of people in Mzuzu going into the bush to relieve themselves. This lack of basic sanitation is disgraceful and shameful In the extreme. This is poverty at is worst. A shortage of drugs in hospitals, electricity blackouts, inadequate water supplies (in Blantyre), teachers not being paid their salaries….. the list goes on and on. Now we know why the World Bank has classified Malawi as the poorest country in the world! And APM with his billions of kwacha poses in a hard hat on a red carpet to put some sand in a wheelbarrow!!!

  10. chims says:

    Commentwhere are human rights activists cedep,chrcwhatever you call ourselves

  11. Agalu Pa Mpando (APM) says:

    Yho! Is this a 21st century Malawi? Your country is too backward people. Agaludi anakhala Pa Mipando (APM).

  12. Nkhonya yobweza kuwawa says:

    Wat are duties of the administrators ? This sounds senseless and seems like that all ppl working there are uneducated ones coz it can’t be true that things can reach in that stage at our courts. Thats totally shame to mw as country.

  13. Love says:

    Communities Should Help in this. Ayambe kuumba njerwa then boma limalizise kumanga ma toilet basi.

  14. MBACHI says:


  15. ujeni says:

    Why do we build stand alone toilets in Malawi. Are Malawi Achitects failing to draw a plain of a building incorporating toilets inside. We are still using colonial methods which the colonial masters used by building stand alone toilets away from the main building for use by black people. Too many structures in Malawi need demolishing, very ugly.

    1. kanchenga. says:

      Can you imagine how it would have been if it was inside the office block. To imagine that in the 80s this used to be a beautiful town with nice gardens. Well is it the price of democracy or wrong leadership choice.

  16. Truth says:

    This is pathetic while these lazy bastards are busy demanding for increments they like working in a pathetic envirnment. however as there is no one to force them to work they do as they please

  17. Ndiye anthuwo mukuwasungira chani?azidandaula ndiye inu mukumava bwino.chaona mzako chapita mawa chili kwainu bwana

  18. chikoya says:

    The title of the article seems like it is remandees only who r affected by the lack of toilets.Be serious with ur presentation so as not to mislead readers.

  19. Phodogoma says:

    What is the comment of Chakwera over this issue? He is fond of commenting over national trival issues.

  20. Nkhedu says:

    Musova apo ayi muzingowaveka ma dipers

  21. Chakuchaku says:



  23. chilombo says:

    Ndiye anthu akakolora chimangacho muzikanyeletsa kuti?

  24. Phodogoma says:

    This is where Chewa are considered thinking upside down like a pinhole camera. The problems you hear from central region are not supposed to come from a region which once enjoyed under Kamuzu and John Tembo. I feel sorry. If you keep listening to Zodiak, you will be shocked to hear strange stories from central region even from the typical home of John Tembo. Just last week a certain journo from Zodiak visited a certain school in Dedza. This school has blocks from standard 1 up to 4 only. He said that if the student reaches standard four, he is enforced to keep repeating standard four up to six times as there is no standard five. The close school to that school with all classes is about 30 km. I was shocked up to 30 km between schools or that journo don’t know measurement. I am saying this is in the district of John Tembo who once worked almost as the president of this country under Hasting Kamuzu. I was shocked, shocked and shocked. Why? Why? I mean in south local people are very active and that can not be tolerated at all. Primary schools are within reasonable distances. So it is not a surprise to learn that important public places like those courts in central region have no resting houses. Useless Chakwera and company. There so many poor cases coming from the lazy Chewa through Zodiak. These journos from Zodiak who are coming from Dedza must visit Dedza District Development unit to air out these poverty issues. Chewas are indeed very poor.

  25. zanga phee says:

    Mmalo mokumba zimbuzi mukulimbana ndi kumakalemba maina anu mma cell, tsopano mukuti ogwidwawo azikazithandizira kuti? ndalama zomwe munawonongazo mukanakhoza kumangira zimbuzi 1000 mma khothi onse amene alibe zimbuziwo. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

  26. Kwangwagwa says:

    Kodi tsono a magistrate amanyera kuti pa khotipo. Nonse klanyereni konko. Foolish fools.

  27. mfumusinyasa says:

    This is cruelty and incompetence at its best. Kodi ngakhale criminal yo samafuna kupita ku toilet. Let the administrators do the needful that is why they were employed

  28. Yankees says:

    Omangidwanu mudzingodzibibila mu Courtmo akadzanva kununkhila adzkonza matoilet awo very soon mubiba mkati, Water Board disconection Team why do U disconect madzi kwa nthu with a small amount of Bill of 6000kwacha mkumasiya 3milion kwacha osakawadulira madziwo mmene Bill inali yochepa bwanji? Munkaopa kumangidwa? Diko losaukitsitsa padziko lonse lapansi la akulu aja okonda zolembalemba mmakhomawa!!?!!??!kk.

  29. chejali says:

    Ok dziko lochititsa manyazi ndimpepha oba.a mkakhale kwao kuno kwachuluka agweyani.

  30. JOE says:

    Malawi now full ov bad stories

  31. nkunthamasese says:

    DPP woyeeeeeeeee . No water woyeeee. No toilets woyeeeeee. No rains woyeeeee.

  32. Chemtukanika says:

    Makhoti amenewo amangidwe kamba kophwanya ufulu wa anthu.Gwiritsani section ija mumati ‘Likely to cause…….’So,where do the lordships go for the services?

  33. Namame SM says:

    Zochitika pa Nyasaland ndi zimenezo basi,ndalama inapita ndi Cash gate!!!!

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